Blizzard Warning for Dane County

February 01, 2011
J. McLellan Dane County Emergency Management 267-2542
Emergency Management


Today Dane County was placed under a Blizzard Warning until noon on Wednesday.  The National Weather Service’s thresholds for a blizzard warning include sustained winds or frequent gusts => 35 mph and falling / blowing snow with visibilities near ¼ mile or less for >= 3 hours.

 The National Weather Service predicts Dane County will receive up to 9 inches of snow with strong winds throughout the night.  Heavy drifting is expected.  Wind speed and direction will cause drastic changes in road conditions.  Based on current expectations, TRAVEL IS NOT RECOMMENDED between 10:00pm Tuesday and Noon Wednesday.

 Temperatures are expected to drop Wednesday afternoon and go well below zero Wednesday evening.  The combination of drifting snow and low temperatures makes traveling extremely risky.

 Dane County Sheriff David Mahoney recommends that people stay off the roads. 

 Do not pass snow plows!  Passing snow plows place both the snow plow operators and other drivers at risk. 

 If you must travel, the following travel precautions are advised:

  • Leave early and allow plenty of extra drive time.
  • Travel at slow speeds and well BELOW the speed limit.
  • Increase safety zone distance between you and the vehicle in front of you.
  • Keep ALL of your car’s windows clear of snow and ice.
  • Drive with your headlights on, even during the day.
  • Avoid using cruise control.
  • Keep a cell phone AND charger with you when you travel.
  • Allow for considerable extra time and distance when stopping.
  • Road conditions on bridges and overpass may be drastically different than on roadbeds.
  • Road conditions may change quickly and unpredictably – be ready to respond accordingly.
  • Keep your gas tank full.  If your car becomes disabled, stay with the vehicle, running your engine and heater for short intervals.  Be sure to open a window slightly to avoid carbon monoxide build-up.  Be sure to keep the area around the muffler clear when running the engine.
  • Maintain a winter survival kit in your car (blanket, snow boots, flashlight, shovel, snack, etc.).
  • If the storm becomes too much for you to handle, seek refuge immediately!

Click here for the latest forecast information from the National Weather Service.